I make few public friends for believing in the adage of ’Those who can do, those who can’t – teach’, however despite the public protestations to the contrary, in private conversations, I am not so far off the general consensus. I also proscribe to a concept of a generation that latchkey children would lead to feral cats bringing up feral cats and thus it has turned out.
Whilst I absolutely believe that parents have a direct responsibility for their children and Education matters – after all I am a product of an ‘Officer Class and a boarding education’ – and look what you end up with…. an anarcho-capitalist.
However – Politicians also, sadly, have a part to play and we find Mr. Gove continuing with the chase to the bottom and division and in these days of latchkey children, an ever more important role to play, yet he is even now pontificating on education censorship.
We find Grammar Schools are out – but different exams for the exam proficient and those who are not are very much in, as there exists an apartheid in the UK. If your child is deemed ‘too thick’ it will take an exam that will guarantee it can only at best achieve a grade C.
This is a step procedure to ensure that you, the absent parent, doesn’t quite appreciate and a way of obscuring the boundary. For sure, one may rail against ‘elitism’, however, the so called equality for all – does result in Gove predicating - your child can take a proper exam or your child is an I8ucat.
Self evidently Police Officers are treated as being above the law, but should this be the case?
A quarter of a million stop and search events last year were unlawful, but despite the numbers and the acknowledgement that Police Officers carrying out unlawful stop and searches, were as a result breaking the law themselves – how many Police Officers have been charged with Civil or Criminal offences over this illegal activity?
The murder of members of the public, or as the state prefers to call it – unlawful killing, results in very few charges ever being brought and even fewer convictions.
The mounting evidence of endemic Police corruption, going back decades is and always has been brushed aside as merely a small problem, or something from the past. Neither is true and it should not be tolerated.
Police regions are investigated by other police regions and the IPCC is filled with former Police Officers so it is hardly a surprise that little changes and the arrogance and indifference grows ever more prevalent.
Should the Police be above the law? – In my view an emphatic no.
The UK Subs – Police State seems appropriate for the song of the day.
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It is often possible to tell when either Labour or The Conservatives are having problems raising money as at that moment they point the finger at the other party.
The Conservatives would appear to be suffering as they wag their fingers at the internecine relationship between The Labour Party and Trades Unions. Which given that The Labour Party was created by Trades Unions is as ridiculous as whining about The Tories being funded by those with a vested interest in slicing tax rates.
When either part hits this point they raise the spectre of tax payers funding Political Parties. The logic that the Tories use to upset themselves about Labour party funding is the unfairness of a system by which non-party members of Trades Unions are forced to fund the party and arguing that their system of funding by choice is far better before slipping in to Tax Payers should fund it all as that would be fairer. I think that perhaps just a cursory glance at the reason given as to why Labour funding is wrong and then positing all taxpayers regardless of party affiliation should fund everyone, just slips down a big logic crack. Labour objects to Tory funding on the basis that people giving through their own choice just isn’t democratic… erm?
The idea of taxpayer funding holds far more a problem than the current system for a myriad of reasons.
It will presuppose that ant-racists are obligated to fund the BNP, that anyone who decides to set up a political party on what ever crackpot idea should be funded by everyone. It may be that the decision is made that funding will only be provided on the basis of the number of seats that a party stood for at the last election – which means that no new political party can ever get started, as they could only raise funds through the taxpayer, or is it still OK for people to donate to parties? In which case this is additional funding. How will candidates for European elections raise funding? After all parties from across Europe are absolutely entitled to, and do, select candidates for election in UK seats, is the suggestion that the UK dictates how parties in France and Germany fund their parties, or will their candidates be excluded from standing in the UK seats for the European Elections. How about Independents, council elections, parish council elections, Mayoral elections etc.?
That is before we head to tax hypothecation, which we are always told is too onerous to be worthwhile on other issues, or will the Government of the day decide on the annual budget for political parties. Would funding for political parties through taxation be protected, always increase, be subject to the same cuts as other Departments? Would we have a Minister for Party funding, a Quango, how would private party funding be regulated? The list goes on.
One vaguely intelligent idea is a cap on party income, but even that is fraught with paragraphs of problems.
The reality is that Democracy is a corrupt business and party funding is the exposed underbelly of that corruption politicians like to try and keep hidden, until they feel they may have a stick to poke the another party with, but to try and change it, is far worse than leaving it alone.
The debate rages on over EU membership and the rights and wrongs of a referendum.
Regardless of the call for a referendum or which side of the argument one sits, there does seem once again to be a missing element to the discussion.
Much is made of the fact that the last referendum vote on what was then called the Common Market was back in 1975 with many arguing this isn’t fair as they have never had their say on the matter, continuing with the argument that by holding the vote this will seal the deal forever. Little regard seems to be given for those who in another 40 years will be arguing that they too never had the opportunity to vote for membership.
If there is to be a referendum, then the framework should be set for this to happen cyclically, but typically, the myopic blinkered vision fails to address what will be an ongoing issue for future generations. Similar issues lie ahead with Welsh and Scottish devolution, regardless of the full Scottish split, where this generation feels they have the right to as is so often said ‘settle the argument once and for all’.
If people are calling for a referendum, they should also be calling for a second referendum in 10-15 years as part of an ongoing process.
I am minded of The Clash and Should I Stay Or Should I Go as the song for the day.
Combat Rock – The Clash is available on iTunes.*
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The tactic of nudge, neuro-linguistic programming, or – you have our permission to think.
The manipulation of the masses has been employed by institutions of the state as a matter of course going back centuries. This process has become far easier since the development of mass communication, particularly since the times of news-print, through radio, television and now the internet.
The ownership and governance of much of the mainstream media has been brought inside the pillars of the state, regardless of the supposed ‘freedom of the press’. Media stories follow a barrage of the same nothingness over a newsflash for the day, never actually exploring the roots, causes and effects, before flipping on to the next headline.
I have scant regard for mainstream media ‘journalists’ as I am not convinced that most mainstream journalists have not been duped in the same hypnotic trance as the mainstream of the public, else they wouldn’t keep pronouncing the messages of their employer and the State.
When so called – serious editorial – is delivered by the media of the masses, the criticisms are always around areas that suit the direction of travel. In the UK criticisms of the State have focussed on issues which are presented as historical notes of interest, obfuscating the far more important current abuses of influence.
NLP has developed into a series of techniques designed to direct the path of criticism into a dead-end, whilst blithely long acknowledged rights, entitlements and simple humane treatment is allowed to slip past on the wing. I am aiming to bring you an interview to talk about the power of Nudge thinking.
The criticisms of the Police and spotlight on sexual predators and the failings in the NHS, focuses the mind, as these are the hot-buttons in the British psyche, whilst the country misses the main events.
Go back just three years and Osborne announcing £ 6 200 000 000 worth of cuts and the country was aghast, slide forward to just last month an announcement of £11 500 000 000 of cuts, with another £20 000 000 to come next year and nary a whisper. A State Pension, to which people make a contribution and is part of their retirement savings plan is now a Welfare Benefit, a food bank is a good and decent part of Cameron‘s Big Society, employers being subsidised to the tune of billions in tax credits, housing benefits, income support top-ups are doing the right thing, a country in which the richest 10% of households own 850 times the total wealth of the bottom 10% is a sign of things being on the right path.
To criticise these facts is an unacceptable though process, particularly if the question of the advantages of the socio-capitalist trickle down wealth is raised. You are allowed to criticise the poor, the Police – though only their historical performance, News International and one or two scapegoats in the NHS. But focus on the real world – permission denied.
Having spent many years in business one basic lesson I learnt very early on was do not try to promote your product by criticising your competition. Politicians have never learnt that very basic tenet of communication.
There are many reasons for not promoting through criticism, but the most relevant and one that political advisers despite all their think tanks have never learnt is that pointing out faults in your competition raises doubts in the minds of your audience in the credibility of your own message through association.
Politicians of all parties in the UK and political commentators speak regularly of the falling numbers of voters and the need to try and engage people with politics, yet their main message of communication is to inform the general public that the other lot are rubbish because in 1996 one of their forebears said this or that. Or in the case of Prime Ministers Questions just yesterday, The Labour party can’t be trusted because they are funded by UNITE and The Conservatives can’t be trusted because they are funded by wealthy.
One would have thought that perhaps amongst the myriad of talking heads at least one lone voice would spot neither argument is particularly relevant and even more importantly all it sends out as a message is don’t trust them because they are worse than us.
The end result of this continued sniping has a direct correlation to the continued fall in people actually voting and party membership. As the message of finger pointing has increased over the years, so the number of voters and party members has dropped.
I am minded to Chasing Shadows by The Newds for today’s song of the day.
The EP – Ready is available on Amazon*
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With UN peacekeepers taking over from the French and African troops in Mali at the beginning of this month the UN is running sixteen peace-keeping missions around the world, which includes the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) covering Afghanistan, which is completely separate to ISAF.
With over 200 000 military personnel deployed on the ground with troops from well over a hundred countries, attempting to keep up with the acronyms in use is in itself a full time mission. The latest iteration being Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Whilst programmes are in the main supported with personnel from a diverse range of countries there seems to be little cohesion above the line of individual programmes, which results in peacekeeping missions being sanctioned but then the scrabble to get the numbers begins.
MINUSMA is mandated for 11 200 service personnel and 1 440 police with the aim of supporting the election coming up on the 28th July the mission only has just over half the numbers required to carry out their mission. African-led International Stabilisation Mission in Mali (AFISMA) which was folded to become part of MINUSMA – delivering 6 000 personnel, France – 1 000 and China – 500 and then nothing.
Whilst the aims of the various missions may be laudable, many of these programmes are running with fewer troops on the ground than mandated, resulting in failed missions which run far longer than necessary.
The UN must take control of their missions around the world with a far more coherent and effective approach.
Politicians in Westminster are often accused of being out of touch and living in their own little bubble with no real understanding of the country in which they live.
There continued faux pas in spending decisions, particularly those which impact on their own existence doesn’t do anything to dispel those criticisms. Most wasteful is the House of Lords.
Most recently the decision to spend £100 000 on two loos used by peers and VIP guests at the Palace of Westminster, according to a House of Commons contract.
I am somehow reminded of Ian Dury for the song for 3rd July 2013 – What a Waste.
What a Waste – Ian Dury & The Blockheads is available on iTunes*
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